So today, we continue this I Am Second series looking at Brian Welch, who was a musician in the band Korn.  I’m excited because as I watched his story I realized even though he is a famous rock star, with fame, and fortune, and all that comes with that rock star life, he also deals with a lot of what you and I deal with.  When I watch his testimony I see that Brian is in the whirlwind of life, just like you and I…but probably even more multiplied because of having to figure it all out in the public eye.   As we get into his story there is so many things that will stand out to you, the hard core drug abuse, the addiction, the struggle, the death, the anger, and the pain…so yes, it’s another really intense video so buckle up for this one!  One of the things that hit my heart as I watched this video, that I would like to talk about and kind of have in your minds as you jump into this video is this…life as we know it on this planet is so intense.  Whether you are a rock star, or you are just someone walking through life like you and I trying to do life with children, and family, and hurts, and stress, and bills, and everything else…life just seems to continue to move faster and faster, and get harder and harder…and we need a way through.  As I watched this video I kept thinking of the intensity of life and thought about Brian, trying to find a way through.  Then I thought about you and I and our reality of life which is that life isn’t always singing like a song or as positive as our Instagram or Facebook posts would show.  Life is hard.  Life is intense, and the reality of our lives is that there is pain.  There is heart ache, secrets, sin, addiction, broken dreams, fractured relationships and life just doesn’t seem to ever let up.  I think for a lot of us we can say that we get to different times in our lives where we just want to call a time out on life…ever been there?  Have you ever had that moment where you just think, maybe even say, “Ok, God, can you stop the world and let me get off for a while?”  Life can be so intense, and I think for all of us we need a way through.  Do you know that God actually gives that to us?  God actually gives us a way through the intensity and pain of life.  His name is Jesus and He seems to let us know that He is the way here, when He says, I am the way!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV

This is the verse we will build this entire talk on, because as I watch Brian’s story, and as I think about the crazy, whirlwind that you and I call life here in 2018, I think we need a way through, and I’m thankful that we have one in Jesus.

You know I bring up Peter Scazzero’s book “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” a lot, because it is so meaningful to me.  There was some imagery from the book that really came to my mind as I thought about finding a way through, and as I watched the intensity of Brian’s story.  In the book Peter describes life as a blizzard.  I think that is a great way to describe how most of us feel in life isn’t it?  The wind blowing like crazy, snow falling so intensely that we can’t see up from down…that seems like a very accurate portrayal of how we feel in life these days.  In his book he tells this story…

We live in a blizzard.  And few of us have a rope.  In his book A Hidden Wholenss Parker Palmer relates a story about farmers in the Midwest who would prepare for blizzards by tying a rope from the back door of their house out to the barn as a guide to ensure they could return safely home.  These blizzards came quickly and fiercely and were highly dangerous.  When their full force was blowing, a farmer could not see the end of his or her hand.  Many froze to death in the blizzards, disoriented by their inability to see.  They wandered in circles, lost sometimes in their own backyards.  If they lost their grip on the rope, it became impossible for them to find their way home.  Some froze within feet of their own front door, never realizing how close they were to safety.  To this day in parts of Canada and the Great Plains, meteorologists counsel people that, to avoid getting lost in the blinding snow when they venture outside, they tie one end of a long rope to their house, and grasp the other end firmly.  EHS Chapter 8

I don’t know about you but when I think about life, I think this idea of an intense blizzard is probably the most accurate picture we can paint.  We all have a lot going on.  There is hurts and stuff you deal with personally, then add your relationships, marriages, children, friendships.  Then we add work life, stress, bills, and finances.  Now let’s add physical health, everyone’s schedules to this mix, and I think for most of us when we think about our lives we would picture ourselves out there in the blizzard, unable to see, not being able to figure out up from down, right from wrong, and finding our way through it all seems almost impossible.  So this rope idea would come in handy…but how does that work for me?  What would it even look like to hold onto the rope firmly and make our way through the intensity of our lives on this planet?  Well that is what we are going to get into.  We do have a way through, and His name is Jesus.  With all of that said, let’s watch this video testimony of Brian “Head” Welch.

Watch the Brian Welch I am Second Video

So there is a lot that comes from this video for sure, but the thing that impacted me so much was that somehow in the pain, in the intensity of life, in the addiction, Brian found the way through the storm of life which is amazing, and beautiful to see, he had a friend willing to share Jesus with Him, and in the middle of that crazy storm of life, Brian found the way through, Brian found Jesus.  And really this is what I want to talk to you about today, how in the world we find our way through the blizzards and storms and intensity of this life on this Earth, and the answer as Brian found was Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV

Let’s look a little closer at this verse, because I think it brings a lot to the table with three simples statements.

Jesus is the way.  You know in every one of the testimonies we have watched, there has been a pattern, which we really talked about for the first time last week.  That pattern really starts with these different people, whether rock stars, or movies stars, or famous athletes, even last week with the Scruggs and their marital struggles all searching for and doing life their way…which let’s face it was fun for a while, and led to fame, and fortune and all that goes with that for a while, but in the end, it ended badly.  I often bring up this idea that I believe each and every one of us has a God shaped whole in our souls, that I believe was wired into us intentionally by God, with the hopes that we would be drawn to God to find our way.  Well I think as intense as life is, in this blizzard of life that we all live in, we are all looking for a way through, just like the farmers we need that rope to guide us through…the issue becomes when we don’t go to God, and anchor to Jesus to find our way through, we can easily get lost, walking in circles, and are never able to find our way through.  So we either can’t keep hold of Jesus or  we just keep trying to find our own way through…and frankly, none of it works.  I think this is the thing that amazes me most about our culture today.  We hear the amazing good news message of the Gospel.  We know that God loved us enough to take care of all of it for us, we can probably recite this verse right now!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV

I think we know the truth, but we still want to live for ourselves.  We still want to do what we want to do when we want to do it.  We keep looking for other ways to find our way through life, even though there is only one way, and that way is Jesus.  For some of us we look to our jobs, and pursue success, and money thinking if we just get the nicest things, have the biggest houses, and the best cars that will fix it, and give us a way through.  For some of us our way through is substances, drugs, and alcohol to try and escape from the pain and we think maybe that is the way through.  For some of us we run to people, and sex, and the hope of love to find our way through, but in all cases we are running to everything and anything but Jesus to find our way through and none of that works.  I don’t know what it is with us people, but we just would like to hear that there is another way through, and I would like to spare you a lot of time, a lot of pain, and a lot of heart ache and just tell you very plainly there is not.  We can keep trying to find our own way through, but sooner or later we will realize there is only one way and that is Jesus.  Peter reiterates what Jesus says here…

Acts 4:10 I’ll be completely frank with you — we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. 11 Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.” MSG

So ask yourself today, what is your way through?  If it is anything other than Jesus you need to understand that your rope isn’t leading you through the blizzard to your home.  The only way through is Jesus.  I want you internalizing this for yourself right now.  Recognize the different ways that you are trying to find a “way through” and understand that Jesus is the only real way that leads to salvation.

Jesus is the Truth.  You know we live in a sin filled, broken world full of lies.  We are constantly dealing with deception and lies.  Jesus explained to us, that we do have an enemy in John 10:10.

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. NIV

This means that you are spiritually opposed.  Last week I told you how Peter describes your enemy as a lion lurking around in the weeds, waiting for someone to devour.  Well the Bible describes our enemy lots of way, he is a thief, he is a lion waiting in the weeds just waiting for lunch.  We also know that he is a liar…no, better stated he is THE Liar…Jesus literally lets us know that Satan is the father of lies…

John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. NIV

So we live in a sin filled, broken world.  We are spiritually opposed by the thief who is looking to rob, steal, kill and destroy our hearts, and our take away or smother out our spiritually identity as children of the King which we have been touching on the last few weeks, and we know that He is a liar…Jesus says he is The Liar.  Can I tell you something?  I think it’s these lies that makes life so intense and so confusing.  If we go back to the image of the blizzard, I think the wind and whirling snow that is so intense that we cannot even see our own hands in front of our faces as we walk through life, is all about the lies, and deception that we face…and as the enemy throws out lies, accusations, and all of that stuff to try and get you to agree with things that are simply untrue, we must remained anchored to the truth.  Holding on to Jesus firmly to make our way through the storms, to find our way through.  The truth is that rope that guides us back through.  I will tell you that I think we all must stay anchored to the truth or we can get into trouble, it’s the truth that sets us free and Jesus says He is the truth.

John 8:31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.  32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  NLT

Ok so what in the world does this mean, Sam? You just threw an awful lot at us here…we have an enemy and we are spiritually opposed…ok, I get that.  But the idea of the enemy being a liar and telling me lies and accusations, and needing the truth to be set free.  What are you talking about?  How do I know I’m being lied to?

Well to answer that, let’s start right here…Have you ever felt like less?  Have you ever looked in the mirror and just thought…”man, I am a loser, or a mess, or I’m worthless.”  Those are lies from your enemy.  Sometimes those lies come from the inside…sometimes they come from the people around you.  Your enemy is good at lying to you, He is the father of lies remember…and he can even use other people to send you those lies too.  You are surrounded by lies…this is why you can’t look in the mirror and see yourself as God sees you…because the lies, are louder than the truth…we must hold on to the truth.  Life is a blizzard, intense, and confusing…and we must hold on to the truth.  Which should lead to the next question.

How do I hold onto the truth, so the truth can set me free?  First of all we must understand the truth is Jesus and it’s found in spending time with Him.  Focusing on Him.  Reading God’s word written down in Scripture, and praying…which involves both talking and maybe most importantly quieting your heart and listening.  We must stay anchored to truth in this crazy world of lies and deception otherwise we can get lost in the storm.  We must stay anchored to the truth.  So important in a world that is full of lies to understand that Jesus is the truth, He is literally the source of all truth, and it’s the truth that sets us free from the lies.  If you want to see how Jesus countered this spiritual opposition with God’s truth, you can read about it in Scripture.  Satan himself tempted Jesus, which you can read about in Matthew 4, and as the devil (the liar) tempts Jesus…he defends himself by using the truth.  Three temptations, three responses, all God’s word each time.  To respond with God’s truth to the enemy’s lies, I’m thinking we would actually need to read and study Scripture so that we can apply it, and use it, and anchor to it as Jesus did in such intense situations.  Jesus is the truth, and it’s the truth that we anchor to, it’s the truth that sets us free.

Ask yourself today are you anchored to the truth, or are your believing lies about yourself?

Jesus is the life.  Jesus literally is letting us know here that He is the source of all life.  Jesus, God in skin, came to this Earth to give us life…remember the big verse I read every week, which we already hit on earlier today.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

This life to the full that Jesus talks of is a complete saving from sin and death.  A life where we are no longer stuck blindly walking through the blizzards of life, in circles, lost in our own backyards.  A life free from all the mess that life brings.  Jesus is saying I am the way through the storm that you call life.  He is literally saying that He is the answer to free us from the life of bondage of sin and death so that we can walk into a life of freedom in eternity.  There is no addiction too strong, no lie too loud, no sin too great for Jesus.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  This is what it means to live for Jesus, and to walk in a kind of freedom that so few experience.  It only comes one way and that way is Jesus.

Which leads us to the big question of the day that I want to leave you with, Have you fully surrendered your life to Jesus?  Is Jesus your answer to life?  Is He your way through?  If He isn’t we need to talk.

Life is hard.  Life is intense and we all need a way through and God loved us enough to give us one.  Jesus is the way.  Jesus is the truth.  Jesus is the life.